“Honey I’ve got caught up at work. Can we please do this another day?”
How many times has your boyfriend cancelled plans because he is “still working”? You get ready and eagerly wait for him to pick you up. But instead, you pick up his apology call telling you how sorry he is for being caught up at work.
Being in a relationship with a man who is practically married to his work is a lonely ride. You don’t feel the warmth of your partner’s presence anymore and even when he is around, he acts distant and keeps thinking about his work. It feels like you are in a long distance relationship when it’s actually not one.
Are you dating a workaholic?
Well, it is not hard for you to pick up signs from someone who neglects you for his work. Dating a workaholic is something that girlfriends usually avoid, because they like their partners to pamper them and give them attention. But love works in mysterious ways and you have to adjust with what you’ve signed up for. Here are the signs of a workaholic –
- Work is always their priority: The need to succeed and keep striving for more is what drives them towards their work and gets them addicted to it. They might try to console you by saying that you are their priority, but isn’t it obvious what it actually is?
- They get paranoid when they don’t work: Whether they are sick or on holiday, the fact that they are not working agitates them and makes them nervous and fidgety
- They are unable to separate their personal and professional lives: Work always comes home with them. Workaholics are so obsessed with their work that they cannot draw a line between their personal and professional lives
- They love being perfectionists: They take control of things because they know that they are the best at what they do (which they actually are). They are never satisfied with their achievements and there is never a stop to their work
- You feel that you are talking to the wall: There are so many things you want to share with your partner, but he is too engrossed in his work to listen to what you have to say. If you ask him to say something, he will keep giving references to his work
It is as if a life beyond his work does not exist.
Related reading: 7 things you will relate to if you are a working couple
12 coping tips when dating a workaholic man
A workaholic wires his brain in a way so as to focus on his work to make it his utmost priority. In the attempt of doing so, he gets so involved in his work life that his obsession for work overpowers other emotions, which in turn makes him less responsive to actual feelings. All these emotions are present, but at a lower level and usually activate when it is somehow related to work.
Is your partner happier when he does well in his presentation or when you throw him a surprise birthday party?
Where there is a relationship, there are sacrifices. Your relationship faces many challenges and at times you see everything falling apart. His work commitments always seem to overpower your relationship and you don’t feel that you deserve to be with someone who doesn’t value you as much as he needs to.
Well, no relationship is perfect and if you want to make it work, then these 12 coping tips will help you adjust with a workaholic.
1. Work out a schedule
Workaholics are unable to balance work with their personal life and thus mess up their schedule. You can ask your partner or his assistant for his schedule and try to tally it with yours. After comparing the two, you can work out a flexible schedule where both of you can spend time with each other without the fear of hampering any work commitment of his.
Always make room for work emergencies, because you know that they are going to come up.
2. Understanding is important
Men expect you to understand them because they are not very vocal about their feelings. You need to understand how important his work is for his professional life to flourish. Trying to understand his side of the story will help you understand why he needs to be a workaholic.
If you understand him and give him space, he too will acknowledge your sacrifices sooner or later.
3. Give him surprises
You have some time on your hands and realise that your boyfriend is free too. Go to his office and surprise him. You can also go during his lunch hours and have lunch with him. Occasional gifts and small surprises are something guys secretly like.
4. Don’t let work hamper his off days
Set a rule that off days are meant for the two of you. Tell him upfront that whatever work he has should be finished the previous day so that his mind doesn’t get diverted with his work when you two are together. Tell him that a full day off is something every girlfriend whose boyfriend is married to his work deserves.
Related reading: How to romance your busy partner
5. Don’t nag at him
He goes through a lot of pressure at work which drains him out. After that if you nag at him, he will either get frustrated or his morale will go down thinking that he’s not able to handle everything that well. Instead of nagging at him, go easy on him and try to make him understand things in a calm manner. He will respond more positively to that.
6. Talk to him about it
Two-way communication is important in every relationship. Talk to him about how you feel and make him understand your perspective. He must know how much he is putting you through by taking you for granted. Tell him that he too needs to cooperate with you. Talk to him and try to work things out.
7. Try to understand his industry
At times, when two people are from different industries, it is difficult for one partner to understand the other because he/she is only seeing one side of the coin. By researching about your partner’s job responsibilities and the challenges of his industry, you will be able to understand why your partner has to be on his feet all day.
It will help you understand his perspective better.
8. Acknowledge the fact that it’s going to be like this
Sometimes, expecting that your partner will change is what frustrates you even more. When expectations come crashing down, you feel frustrated and it spoils your relationship even further. You need to accept the fact that some things are never going to change, so it’s useless to expect them to do so.
Instead, accept the truth and work with it.
9. Go to a counsellor
There are times when the two of you cannot take it anymore and the relationship becomes suffocating. You both can’t be around each other but also don’t want to do it without each other. In such cases, workaholic relationship advice is important from an expert who understands both perspectives. Go to a relationship counsellor and work things out.
You will be surprised why you didn’t think of it in the first place.
Related reading: 10 signs you need counselling to fix your marriage
10. Keep yourself busy
If your partner is busy, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a life of your own. Get involved with your own life and spend some ‘me time’. Focus on yourself rather than your relationship. Spending time away from your partner is at times important to embrace your individual self and build your own identity.
11. Use technology to stay connected
Thanks to our pals WhatsApp, Facebook and Skype, you can always stay connected to your loved ones. With the help of technology and all our smart phone apps you can always stay in touch with your partner even on days you are not able to meet him. Staying away won’t pinch that much.
12. Try to change your perspective
Dating a workaholic might not have been something you were prepared to do but you already are. Since you are still going on with it, you could think of changing your perspective about workaholics instead. You can see the positive aspects of a workaholic and put yourself in their shoes.
By doing so, you will be able to understand their psychology better and you might realise that it’s not that bad after all.
Is it worth dating a workaholic?
This depends on the relationship. Every individual has different priorities and different ideas of a perfect relationship and hence it differs from person to person. For a couple that consists of both partners being workaholics, this is never a problem because they belong to the same mind-set and are therefore on the same page. For a woman who wants her man to be there for constant emotional and mental support, dating a workaholic isn’t a good idea, because she will want things that he might not be able to give. If you are someone who is patient and understanding, dating a workaholic wouldn’t be bad because you would be able to work your way around it. It all depends on which one of these you are.
Know your priorities and expectations from a relationship and then decide for yourself. Don’t go into something without knowing its stakes, because it will end up hurting you and you will be filled with regret. Know what you are getting into before your relationship is headed for its doom. Ask yourself whether it is what you want, and more importantly, what you deserve, and then decide. You know what is right for you.